The Divided State of America: How Long Can We Stand?
and cause a 9, 10, or 11-week fetus to die and be expelled from the womb as though he or she were nothing more than a large blood clot. We want the right to suction a baby out of the womb as though we were vacuuming out our cars of junk and stray french fries.
We want the right to reach into the womb and dismember a 23-week fetus. We want that right so badly that we delude ourselves into thinking it's moral and just and even compassionate. Which of us would find it compassionate to dismember a 2 month-old infant? Why is it any different simply because the dismembering is done on a smaller baby who is still in the womb? Does that make the dismembering kinder? Does it make the dismembering less grotesque? Does it make the act itself respectable? Of course not.
We can't delicately operate on a 23 week-old fetus in one room and stab the heart and crush the skull of a 23 week-old fetus in the room next door. We call the first an example of life-saving, miraculous medical advancement and the other a sacred "right" and protected "freedom." One child is considered a patient and the other child is not considered anything at all.
How long can we perpetuate this absurd incongruency?
This intellectual dishonesty is leading us toward national schizophrenia. We simply cannot insist that to kill one child is moral, right and respectable while to kill another child is abhorrent and criminal.
Either it is moral, right and respectable to kill a child at any age and stage of development or it is abhorrent and criminal and the height of evil. It must be one or the other. Either we will protect our defenseless children from harm, or we'll inflict the harm ourselves and call it our right.
It's time for honesty. Those who demand abortion must come clean and say out loud, "We want the right to kill our babies." Those who legislate for abortion on demand must come clean and say, "We will make sure it's legal to kill our babies and pay for it with our taxes."
Those who want to sit on the fence rather than "tell someone else what to do" must come clean and say, "I'm content to let it be legal to kill our babies. That's okay with me."
The issue is not "reproductive rights" but the humanity of the child in the womb. The question is not one of "equality" in marriage, but of defending the foundation of the family, and the unchangeable meaning of marriage.
In both cases, the conflict demands a final and morally coherent answer. Government does not have that answer. The Catholic Church does. But we're not really "one nation under God" anymore, are we? Soon we may not be one nation anymore either.
Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three children. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah! and MCH.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: abortion, same-sex marriage, divided, united, life, America, Jennifer Hartline
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